01 September 2010 ~
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Staging a Home to Sell

Staging a Home to Sell

In today’s market it’s a price war and a beauty contest. Home staging is more important now than ever because there is so much competition for the eye of a buyer. The house has to “wow” the buyer right from the beginning.  And, research shows that staged homes sell more quickly and for more money.

An interior designer or real estate staging professional can be a valuable resource. Most work by the hour and can help you find the right furniture arrangement and decorative touches to charm any buyer. These talented resources will help you rearrange and repurpose your existing furniture, artwork and accessories to highlight the best features of your home without spending a fortune. Before you call a professional, here are some things you can do to get started.

10 Staging Tips You Can Do To Get Your Home Sold Faster

  1. Depersonalize the home by removing family photographs, memorabilia, children’s art projects, sports gear and collectables; anything that would distract a buyer. The purpose of the buyer’s visit is to engage with the home, to “try it on”. It is difficult for buyers to visualize their belongings in a home that is filled with personal items. Less is best.
  2. Remove large pieces of furniture that make a room feel crowded. Rent a storage.
  3. Unit or POD if necessary so that you can make the rooms feel spacious. Arrange furniture so that rooms feel open and bright and walk ways are generous. Imagine what the room will look like when photographed.  Will it look like a magazine photo?  If not, remove more items. The buyer will most likely see the photographs first, so this is an important task.

  4. Stage each room so that the buyer knows its purpose. For example, if you are currently using your formal dining room as an office, remove the desk and replace it with a dining table and chairs so that the buyer isn’t questioning the floor plan.  Add a few decorative items that add a pop of color and pizzazz.
  5. De-clutter countertops, closets and cabinetry. Clean countertops and closets so that they have the bare minimum. Arrange items in the cabinets so that they are well organized. Buyers will open closets and cabinets and make a judgment about the maintenance of the home accordingly. If items are neatly arranged and orderly, they will infer that the home has been well maintained.
  6. Go room by room and check paint on walls and baseboards. Make any necessary repairs to sheetrock. A thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of a neutral paint will make the room feel and smell fresh. Clean carpets and flooring so that they sparkle. Replace worn carpet if necessary.
  7. Lighten and brighten rooms so that they look large and happy. Replace light bulbs with new ones, avoiding the low wattage energy efficient ones.  Remove heavy window coverings. Clean blinds and shutters. Clean windows inside and out so that nothing obstructs the light and views from the windows. Trim trees or shrubberies that interfere with the light.
  8. Make minor repairs like re-caulking tub and shower, fixing dripping faucets, changing AC filters, balancing a ceiling fan, or any other repair that indicates that the property is well-maintained.
  9. Remove any evidence of pets or animals, especially litter boxes and bedding. Pay close attention to and eliminate pet odors.  Bad odors are always deal breakers.
  10. Check the curb appeal of the home. Mow the grass; weed, edge and mulch flower beds. Add some colorful perennials around the front of the home. Cut back or remove overgrown shrubbery. Trim trees. Place colorful pots of flowers by the front door. Check the exterior paint. Repaint the front door and replace old hardware. Remove toys and sports equipment. In winter months, consider sowing winter rye grass so that the yard pops with color when all the others are brown.  If a home does not have curb appeal, the buyer may never come inside.
  11. Give the home warmth and a touch of pizzazz.  Spruce up the bedrooms with new bedspreads and some new pillows. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms tied with ribbon or bows and remove toiletries. Replace worn mats and rugs. Add a large mirror over a dresser or low piece of furniture to add depth to a small room. Set the dining table with china. Check with a design professional for decorative touches that can add charm and highlight the special features of your home.

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